capsule review

WMWifiRouter

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder WMWifiRouter

WMWifiRouter 1.2 is designed to work with any phone running Windows Mobile 5 AKU 3.3 or newer. Once it's installed on your phone (which you can do by copying the file to your phone and simply clicking it to begin the automated process), it lets you create an Internet access point that other devices--such as laptops or computers--can use for Internet connectivity.

Devices can connect to this access point via Wi-Fi, USB, or Bluetooth. I tested the application on a Palm Treo 800w running Windows Mobile 6, and set up a Wi-Fi network that I accessed with a laptop. (WMWifiRouter's Bluetooth and USB options are similar, but let you connect your computer to the network via USB or Bluetooth. This uses less of your phone's battery power than connecting via Wi-Fi.)

Setting up the connection was a snap; WMWifiRouter walks you through all of the steps and offers helpful suggestions. For example, it suggests encrypting your wireless network, but notes that if you're having trouble connecting, you may want to disable the encryption. Once WMWifiRouter told me the connection was complete, I moved to my laptop and searched for the wireless network I had created. Within a few minutes, I was surfing the Web from my laptop.

The company says that the speed of the wireless network you create with WMWifiRouter will depend on the data connection your smartphone offers. (The Palm Treo I used for testing supports Sprint's CDMA EvDO Rev-A network, which is the carrier's fastest 3G network--and is available at my home in suburban Boston.) The speed of my WMWifiRouter wireless network was adequate, but not as fast as my home Wi-Fi network. I averaged download speeds of about 1100 kilobits per second and upload speeds of 76 kbps (as tested at speedtest.net). In comparison, my Wi-Fi network delivered speeds of 9441 kbps (download) and 3120 kbps (upload). Overall, the connection seemed brisk enough and allowed me to surf with ease--though I didn't try downloading or uploading any hefty files.

Before you use WMWifiRouter, you should read the fine print in your smartphone's data plan; if you don't have the right kind of plan, you could rack up some serious charges. But if you're ever stuck without Internet access for your laptop--or if you simply want to share a connection--WMWifiRouter offers an easy and convenient way to get online.

--Liane Cassavoy

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder WMWifiRouter

  
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